Seattle manager Scott Servais had earlier hinted that, after Ichiro started in a season-opening victory against the A's on Wednesday, he might not start on Thursday in the final game of the brief series.
"I wasn't quite sure," Servais said. "I thought we'd give him the opportunity to go out there. And I'd love to see him get a couple of hits and finish on a high note here."
The future of 45-year-old Ichiro is unclear. Many expect him to retire after the Japan series or when the Mariners return home for two spring training games with the San Diego Padres before the regular season resumes against the Boston Red Sox.